22 November 2014
I had been hearing about this place for past couple of
years. Seeing the photos, it was hard to believe that they were taken so near
to Bengaluru!! But our neighbor Andhra
Pradesh was on constant boil for last two years due to the bifurcation issue,
making the journey difficult. Gandikota being in Rayalaseema has a very long
off season (Read Summer!!) providing tourists a small window of opportunity to
visit the place.
With statehood issues resolved, Andha Pradesh was back to
its peaceful state prompting me to hatch a trip to this place. My friend Anoop
and his family also joined us.
|Roads on the way|
We left the Bengaluru at about 6 AM. Our breakfast was at
Kamat Upachaar at outskirts of Chikkaballapur. It was important to have a heavy
breakfast here as we would not be finding decent eateries all along the route.
After Bagepalli, we cross over to Andhra Pradesh. Within few
minutes, we had to say adieu to beautiful NH-7 and take deviation to Kadiri. At
Gorantla we saw a beautiful stone Temple (Madhavaraya Temple) but did not stop.
We had not planned for it and hence we could not take a decision whether to
stop or not.
At Kadiri, we took couple of detours and proceeded further
towards Jammalamadugu. One notable feature of the villages in this area is the
statue of YSR. They are omnipresent and it looks like a rule to have his
statues!! The landscape is beautiful as we cross couple of ghat sections.
|Crossing ghat sections|
We reach Pulivendula which looks like a town dropped from
heaven. The shape of our country would have changed if all towns were of the
same quality. A beautiful town with ring roads, double roads and pothole free
roads. I was stunned!!
|Road before Gandikota|
We were supposed to take deviation before Jammalamadugu. But
google took us through a shortcut. That gave us some anxious moments when we
had to go through narrow and mud roads. But we joined the main road without
Just before Gandikota was APTDC hotel. My wife had called
them on previous day and booked rooms. (Online booking is not available for
this place). The place looks good with children play area and garden but lacks
maintenance. The people who maintain this place will ensure that the stay is
memorable for all wrong reasons!! But that would take a complete post. Let
concentrate on good stuff.
After lunch we went to the village situated inside the fort.
Rarely one gets a chance to drive inside a fort and Gandikota was one such
exception!! The first place we saw was Charminar.
Near Charminar was the Jail. It is mostly filled with bats
and inside of the jail smells a lot.
From jail we proceeded towards Madhavaraya Temple. It seems
like villagers defecate in open which made this short walk really stressful.
But Madhavaraya Temple was exceptionally good. Relatively well maintained
compared to other monuments in Gandikota, this Temple resembles Vijayanagar
It was a pity that there were no guides to explain about the
Temple. A sculpture of a dancer at the entrance wall of the Temple.
Look at the architecture of the main Temple.
On the sides are the pillars with great carvings.
A ruined Temple in the complex.
Immensely satisfied with Madhavaraya Temple, we proceeded
towards Jama Masjid. It is another nice piece of architecture.
Next to Masjid is a granary followed by Ranganatha Swamy
Temple. The Temple is smaller and is in ruins.
By then we had reached near the gorge which was the main
center of attraction. We walked for some distance over rocks to reach the edge.
What an amazing sight!!
The river Pennar flowed some 300 feet below in a gorge providing
some stunning views.
In order to get the complete view of the Canyon, I climbed
up the rocks to the highest point. This route is not suitable for families or
children. That brought be to the place where I could get a panoramic view of
I had to almost go to the edge of the rocks to get good
views. It was worth the effort!! It also provided some nice views of the fort.
In the meantime, others were having fun time at the canyon.
And we had long photo sessions!! What a great day we had!!
Gandikota is about 290 km from Bengaluru and
would take about 5-6 hours of drive. Roads are mostly good. The route does not have decent restaurants
other than Kamat at Chikkaballapur. Accommodation is only available at APTDC
hotel in Gandikota. Expect a shabby service from hotel staff. Gandikota village
is a dirty place. There are some good places to see on the way. More about it
in the next post!!
Labels: Andra Pradesh, canyon, river, Temples, travel